Your computer keyboard gets dirty quickly, especially if you eat or smoke a lot near your keyboard. If a keyboard gets too dirty, it may not work properly. Certain keys get stuck or some characters keep being typed without you doing anything. Here's how to get your keyboard nice and clean again. Note: any warranty may be voided by the methods in this article.
Method 1 of 3: The regular cleaning
Step 1. Turn off your computer and disconnect the keyboard cable before cleaning
If you have a USB keyboard, you can unplug the cable from the computer while it's still on. Don't do this if you have an older computer. Then wait until the computer is turned off.
Step 2. Turn the keyboard upside down and use a can of compressed air to blow out anything that doesn't belong inside the keyboard
Do this in a place where you can easily clean up the fallen dirt. Turn your keyboard upside down and tap it a few times. Some dirt will probably fall out already. Change the position and tap a little harder to get as much dirt out as possible.
Step 3. Clean the sides of the keys with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
Step 4. For a more thorough cleaning, first remove the keys
You do this by gently pushing each key up with a screwdriver or similar object. Once the keys are removed you can blow out the dirt with your aerosol compressed air. Clean all surfaces with a damp, but not too wet cloth. Make sure that no moisture gets into the keyboard.
Step 5. Clean the keys one by one and then put them back into the case
Method 2 of 3: If you spilled
Step 1. Turn off the computer and disconnect the keyboard from the computer as soon as possible
Step 2. Hold the keyboard upside down and shake it up and down
Step 3. Dry the keyboard as best you can with a cloth while turning the keyboard upside down
Step 4. Hold it upside down for as long as possible
Turn it upside down all night if you want.
Take a sealable container (eg a Tupperware container), fill it with (uncooked) rice, place the keyboard upside down and sprinkle another layer of rice on top. The rice will draw moisture from the keyboard
Method 3 of 3: Alternative method for spills
Step 1. Turn off your computer and detach the keyboard
Step 2. Turn the keyboard upside down and remove all screws
Step 3. Detach the half that the keys are on from the bottom
Set the bottom aside.
Step 4. The keyboard may also be jammed
Also check for hidden screws under labels.
Step 5. Flip the keys half over, with the bottom of the keys facing up
Press the clips on each key to remove the keys one by one. The space bar is probably secured with a metal clip, which is more difficult to release.
Step 6. Fill a container with hot water and mild detergent
Step 7. Place the keys in the tray and clean them with a brush
Step 8. Remove the keys from the tray and rinse them under running water
Now let the keys dry or dry them with a hair dryer.
Step 9. Place the empty top of the keyboard in the tray and clean it with a brush
Step 10. When everything is dry you can reassemble the keyboard
Step 11. Press the halves of the keyboard firmly together, also in the middle, if it is not secured there, the keys will not work properly
Step 12. Connect your keyboard back to your PC, turn on the computer and check if all keys are working properly
Step 13. Done
- Leave the space bar in place if necessary. This large key is difficult to remove and can break easily.
- It works differently with laptops. Usually it is not necessary to remove the keys. A cotton swab with isopropyl alcohol and a can of compressed air should be enough to clean the keyboard.
- The keys on a laptop are difficult to remove and put back, especially the spacebar and the Enter key. With a laptop you run the risk of damaging the keys or something else.
- Take a picture of your keyboard before you remove the keys so that you can easily see which key belongs where.
- If you didn't take a photo and you don't remember where the keys belong, you can copy the location of the keys on the onscreen keyboard. Start your computer and look for the on-screen keyboard.
- You can also put all the keys in a laundry bag (the kind you can use to wash your socks with) and put them in the washing machine, bag and all, with your clothes. Clean the empty keyboard with the vacuum cleaner and a damp cloth.
- Some people put the entire keyboard in the dishwasher. However, this is not without risk, you can irreparably damage the keyboard. In any case, let the keyboard dry thoroughly before using it again. Never put a wireless keyboard in the dishwasher.
- An alternative to a compressed air aerosol can is a hair dryer. The heat is not a problem.
- Once you have removed the keys, keep them away from small children and pets. They can choke on it.
- Do not inhale the air coming out of the compressed air aerosol. The contents are toxic and very harmful to health.
- Never hold the aerosol upside down. Then the liquid enters the atomizer and that damages the keyboard. Only use the aerosol in a well-ventilated area.
- If you're using rice to absorb moisture, be careful not to let small grains of rice get into the keyboard.